This Small Nation Bordering France And Spain Is The Perfect Destination For Avid Skiers

Forget Zermatt! This tiny country between France and Spain is the place to be seen on your next ski trip to Europe. After conquering American ski slopes that are closer to home, branching out into new territory is only natural. Andorra, located just three hours north of Barcelona, is a lesser-known but equally awe-inspiring destination for even the most seasoned snow sports enthusiasts.

Best of all, Andorra has a little something for everyone. Though the slopes are geared towards beginners and intermediates, snow adventure experts, Powder Hounds, writes that there are over 300 km of piste trails. The three main resorts also sport modern gondolas and tons of freeride terrain to explore. With its relative anonymity, it also makes for a quieter and lower-cost option for tourists visiting the area: Perfect for those looking for an easier entry into the world of European skiing.

Not carving the powder this season? If you're tagging along for the après ski, you won't be disappointed. The site seeing, food, and nightlife options in Andorra are plentiful and will definitely make it worth the trip regardless if you bring your snow pants or not.

Best places to ski in Andorra

The best part about choosing a place to ski in Andorra is that not only do you have a ton of options but they are all less than an hour away since the country is so tiny!

First up? Grandvalira, the largest resort in Andorra. It includes Pas de la Casa and Soldeu, two resorts that lie on opposite sides of the spectrum in terms of nightlife. Soldeu is the more subdued and well-known for being home to the best black piste in Andorra, Avet. On the other hand, Pas de la Casa is where you'll find the après ski party animals. Pas de la Casa also happens to be a bit cheaper, adding to its reputation as a great option for young people looking to socialize.

On The Snow says Vallnord is the best option for families and beginners. Kids get free lift passes and are exposed to higher-quality snow since beginner trails are at the same altitude as other runs, great for learning on! For more experienced skiers, don't worry. Vallnord is located just next to Pal-Arinsal which has plenty of red runs to challenge you.

Saving the best for last, don't forget to consider Ordino Arcalís. Powder Hounds say this is the smallest resort in Andorra but what it lacks in size it more than makes up for in its variety of options for freeride terrain (from beginner to advanced) and its incredibly reliable snowfall.

Where to après ski in Andorra

Ah, the après ski. It wouldn't be a ski trip without it! For those not in the know, according to Slope Runner après ski is the imbibement of alcoholic beverages "after skiing." Nothing better for sore legs, right? ... Well, maybe not, but it's an age-old tradition among skiers and snowboarders and thus, it remains.

So where is the best place to après ski in Andorra? As mentioned previously, Pas de la Casa is the place to be if you're looking for amazing nightlife. First on the list, Esquiades recommends checking out the Cala Bassa Beach Club Costa Rodona which, funnily enough, is not located on a beach but rather is a replica of the one located in Ibiza. If it's anything like Ibiza, you can be sure you're in for a good time!

Find the Pearls Travel, however, says the best après ski in Grandvalira is L'Abarset, located at the base of El Tarter. Its large outdoor terrace is filled with heat lamps to keep partiers warm well into the night. It's not just for boozers though. Kokono writes that the restaurant is family-run and the food is made by talented chefs with high-quality products. So whether or not you're looking for a party, this is the perfect stop to rest your tired legs.